The granule fraction inhomogeneity of roller compacted granules was examined on mixtures of three different morphologic forms of calcium carbonate and three particle sizes of sorbitol. The granule fraction inhomogeneity was determined by the distribution of the calcium carbonate in each of the 10 size fractions between 0 and 2000 µm and by calculating the demixing potential. Significant inhomogeneous occurrence of calcium carbonate in the size fractions was demonstrated, depending mostly on the particles sizes of sorbitol but also on the morphological forms of calcium carbonate. The heterogeneous distribution of calcium carbonate was related to the decrease in compactibility of roller compacted granules in comparison to the ungranulated materials. This phenomenon was explained by a mechanism where fracturing of the ribbon during granulation occurred at the weakest interparticulate bonds (the calcium carbonate: calcium carbonate bonds) and consequently exposed the weakest areas of bond formation on the surface of the granules. Accordingly, the non-uniform allocation of the interparticulate attractive forces in a tablet would cause a lowering of the compactibility. Furthermore, the ability of the powder to agglomerate in the roller compactor was demonstrated to be related to the ability of the powder to be compacted into a tablet, thus the most compactable calcium carbonate and the smallest sized sorbitol improved the homogeneity by decreasing the demixing potential.
Internation Journal of Pharmaceutics, 2008, Vol 349, Issue 1-2, p. 19-23